Dostoevsky and the temples in his life
Today we celebrate Dostoevsky day in Russia. The theme of religion runs through all the writer’s works.
Dostoevsky was brought up in a religious family that revered the rites of the Church. So, religion, inclufing visiting different churches was always a part of his life. What churches are connected with his name?
The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius.
The writer visited the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius in the first ten years of his life. He wrote about this place later:
«Что за архитектура, какие памятники. — Ризница привела нас в изумление… Одежды нескольких веков — работы собственноручные русских цариц и царевен, домашние одежды Ивана Грозного, монеты, старые книги, всевозможные редкости — не вышел бы оттуда».
The Trinity Cathedral
In this Church in 1867, Fyodor Mikhailovich married Anna Grigorievna. Dostoevsky met his future wife in 1866. Anna Snitkina was a stenographer, and the novel “the Gambler” was written by her under the dictation of Dostoevsky. After a few days of work, the writer saw a kindred spirit in the young woman. He was able to trust her heart’s secrets and get support and understanding. The marriage was very happy.
He wrote about this period of his life:
«Тот, кто желает увидеть живого Бога, пусть ищет его не в пустом небосводе собственного разума, но в человеческой любви».
Saint Isaac’s Cathedral
In 1847-1849 (before the exile), the writer lived opposite St. Isaac’s Cathedral. In December 1849, Dostoevsky was exiled to Siberia for eight months. Before Dostoevsky returned from exile to St. Petersburg, a monument to Nicholas I was erected near St. Isaac’s Cathedral. It was by the will of this Emperor that the writer was sent to Siberia. Therefore, St. Isaac’s Cathedral caused unpleasant feelings in the soul of the writer.
Raskolnikov talks about the Cathedral: «…Необъяснимым холодом веяло на него всегда от этой великолепной панорамы; духом немым и глухим полна была для него эта пышная картина».
The Kazan Cathedral
Dostoevsky revered the Kazan Cathedral and was a frequent visitor. On April 12, 1877, Dostoevsky and his wife went to the Bank and learned about the beginning of the war with Turkey from the newspaper men. Dostoevsky immediately went to the Kazan Cathedral to pray.
Optina Monastery (near Kozelsk, under Moscow)
Dostoevsky found it difficult to accept the death of his 3-year-old son Alyosha. Therefore, in July 1878, he went to the Optina Pustyn. He spent two days in the monastery and met the elders. The theme of grief for a dead child is reflected in the novel ” The Brothers Karamazov”.
Our Lady of Vladimir Church
The writer visited this cathedral during the last years of his life. The Church was located next to his house that now accommodates the Dostoevsky Museum.